Video conferencing comes to Boston schools

Monday, October 18 2010

Video conferencing technology has played a role in changing the way students learn at several Boston-area schools.

Harvard University, Cisco and BBN Technologies teamed up to bring video conferencing equipment into many Boston schools, speeding the adoption of Internet 2 and helping kids learn how video conferencing can be both fun, educational and practical in a variety of situations.

The Internet 2 network has been used by academic institutions over the past decade to gain access to high-speed data connectivity whose bandwidth far surpasses commercial Internet connections. In fact, the bandwidth capability is so great that some institutions have found that they have more than they can use - and so they have decided to branch their connections out to local schools, ComputerWorld reports.

Access to the education tools provided by video conferencing and Internet 2 has been a major boon for many schools in the Cambridge and Boston areas.

"In the case of a medical science class you'll be able to dial into Harvard Medical School, and maybe someone there is giving a lecture on how to perform a certain procedure," said Steve Sullivan, headmaster at the O'Bryant School. "Or it might be that you give a book report and then are able to call up the professor at Stanford who wrote it to talk with him about it."